“Arien’s memorial service?”
“Yes, you know. Only people of the same gender as the deceased can attend their memorial rites. Besides, I have to go into the temple alone all night to pray and honour Arien. But in the first place, I wasn’t on good terms with Arien while she was alive… … . Somehow I happened to take it on, but I’m not sure how do it.”
“That would be no ordinary matter.”
“Indeed, sitting alone in an old temple all night would be terribly frightening. I already have a headache when I think about dealing with Carola the next day.”
The princess pondered over Elisha’s words.
‘Certainly the head of the Cartier family highly values the deceased Duchess very seriously.’
Ilione felt sorry for her. It wouldn’t be easy to be the wife of an illegitimate offspring in a family of monsters like the Cartier family. While dealing with that, Elisha seemed to be struggling to support Lucerne in her own way.
Besides, if the family patriarch had ordered her to hold a memorial service, Elisha would not have been able to refuse.
“It seems your situation isn’t much different than having to confront dozens of monsters with a single sword?”
“… … It’s similar.”
It was an appropriate analogy since the members of the Cartier family are close to brutes. She thought Ilione had a good sense of humour.
“Then I’ll look for a way to help you.”
“Huh? The princess?”
Elisha tilted her head as if she had no idea what she was implying.
The solemn story ended with that conclusion. Instead, lighter conversations resumed on the tea table.
When Ilione got up to say goodbye to her, Elisha followed her out and saw her off.
“Then see you soon, Elisha.”
She curtsied, but her polite expression disappeared when Ilione left her seat. Her atmosphere grew unknown as if submerged in deep water.
‘Princess Ilione, if you do well, you will witness a great sight.’
Pansy was pacing around Carola’s powder room, looking rather apprehensive. In the room, Pansy’s fiancée, Zain and Carola were alone and had been talking at length.
‘Carola-nim called Zain again today.’
Pansy couldn’t understand Carola’s intentions at all. She knew that Zain and Carola had been lovers before. Pansy had been assisting Carola for a very long time, so she knew it well.
But now their romance was entirely settled. It was a playful love affair during her youth. Besides, Carola said that she was young and had no physical relationship with him at the time.
Pansy believed in them both. Until recently.
‘What if he changed his mind?’
Pansy really loved Zain. Besides, it fell on her to raise the rank and esteem of her household. Therefore, she had to marry Zain, who was wealthy for a knight and had a solid status.
‘Does Carola remember I am engaged to Zain?’
Lately, Carola had avoided her. She would whisper to Mimosa, but when Pansy approached, she would stop talking.
“Pansy, what’s wrong?”
“Mimosa, uh… … .”
She noticed Pansy’s restlessness in front of the room and quickly took note.
“Pansy, I have something to tell you.”
The corners of her lips bent into a sneer. Carola had force-fed Mimosa a steady diet of inferiority to her sister. Once she acknowledged her hatred of Carola, her contempt multiplied.
‘I ignore Elisha because she was a laundry maid, but she also became a lady. What’s different between her and Carola? Both have beauty and personality. The fact that she is doted on by Gaju isn’t unique to her alone. Hasn’t Elisha gained his favor as well? In the end, Carola isn’t that great either.’
Animosity seemed to color all of Mimosa’s thoughts lately.
“Actually, Carola-nim is planning something… … . Uh, well… … . I thought you should know because it’s related to Zain.”
Upon hearing her following explanation, the blood seemed to drain from Pansy’s face.
“She’s trying to resurrect Zain and Elisha’s marriage? No, in the first place, I can’t believe the two of them wrote a marriage contract.”
“That’s what I thought. I’m telling you secretly because I feel so sorry for you. Pretend you don’t know in front of Carola-nim. You know her personality. You and Zain won’t be safe if you make a hasty remark.”
Inside, Mimosa was insidiously laughing and thinking:
Carola succeeded in convincing Zain to attack Elisha and testify in front of people that he is married to her and resurrect their marriage.
In exchange, she told him he would gain Elisha’s vast fortune and a hefty reward from her.
Moreover, the stupid and greedy Zain was quickly shaken by the whisper that if he did well, he could become Count Lor. In the past, Elisha was poor as a slave. But she was different now.
She became a woman with considerable wealth. She was married to wealthy Lucerne. The Head favored her, so he had bestowed her with property. Therefore, Elisha’s case has remained a legendary anecdote in the family.
That stimulating story led people like Zain to harbor the delusion of thinking, ‘I might be able to reverse my life through marriage, too.’
Mimosa thought that the lacking Zain was delusional.
‘How dumb can he be? Really, if he succeeds in attacking Elisha, he’s dead.’
Or suffer a terrible retaliation from Lucerne. Getting caught up in family affairs and earning a painful death. In any case, he’ll only put himself in a position where he’ll be destroyed alongside Elisha.
But he was placated with deception, and he was willingly delusional. Zain does not know the destruction that is approaching. In her mind’s eye, Mimosa was snickering and chuckling at Zain to her heart’s content.
But simultaneously, she was also carrying out Elisha’s orders. She gave a strange order. She instructed her to inform Pansy of Zain’s situation.
“What about me? Mimosa, if Zain decides to live with Elisha… … .”
Pansy bit her lip. Mimosa observed it with pleasure, as she had always been jealous of her, who was more beautiful than her.
“What do you mean? You have to find a way to live, too!”
Mimosa whispered a story in her ear. Pansy’s eyes widened.
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